The NCL Westside Chapter Hosted a Chapter Wide Meeting at Temescal Gateway Park
By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
For the first time in more than 18 months, National Charity League, Inc., Westside Chapter was able to host an in-person meeting—which drew approximately 200 mother and daughter members to an outdoor Chapter Wide Kick-Off meeting on September 12 at Temescal Gateway Park.
“National Charity League is a nonprofit organization whose mission is fostering the mother-daughter relationship through an ongoing commitment to philanthropy, culture and leadership,” Westside Chapter President Ruby Carlos Doyle, a resident of Pacific Palisades who lives above the Alphabet Streets, explained to the Palisadian-Post. “The Westside Chapter was founded in 2010, and currently has 260 members—mothers (called ‘Patronesses’) and daughters (called ‘Ticktockers’) from seventh to 12th grade.”
Across the organization, National Charity League members have volunteered nearly three million hours to more than 6,000 charities, according to its website. There are over 280 chapters spread across 31 states, with 200,000 members and alumnae.
Nearly half of the members of the Westside Chapter reside in the Palisades. The rest of the members live in Brentwood, Santa Monica and other Westside communities.
“Mary Ruth Schreier, a third generation Ticktocker herself, formed the Westside Chapter with the idea that women need to look after one another in life, and that wherever our [Ticktockers] or Patronesses may be, they can go to a local chapter for networking, business, social or philanthropic connections,” according to the NCL Westside Chapter website.
The core values of the group are: empowering women with the skills and confidence to lead, inspiring a legacy of social awareness and compassion, providing depth of support in local communities, and integrity and excellence in everything they do.
Each meeting, the chapter typically includes a philanthropy component, and this time, it conducted a donation drive for pantry items to be given to Upward Bound House, which is one of its partners. The chapter collected enough donated items to fill four cars.
“We collected essential pantry items to help homeless families as they transition into housing with our partner, Upward Bound House,” Doyle explained. “Items included juice boxes, crackers, cereal, fruit cups, oatmeal, granola bars, water, trail mix, chips, noodles, mac and cheese, etc.”
Upward Bound House, a Los Angeles County-based nonprofit, was founded in 1991 with the mission to “eliminate homelessness among families with children in Los Angeles by providing housing, supportive services and advocacy,” according to its website. “We strive to reduce the number of homeless families with minor children who are hungry and living on the streets of Los Angeles by helping them access basic resources and successfully transition into their own homes with capacity to remain there permanently.”
In addition to Upward Bound House, the chapter works with 13 other active philanthropy partners, each of which serves a specific community. Partners include American Cancer Society Discovery Shops, Ballona Wetlands Restoration, Heal the Bay, Meals on Wheels, Operation Gratitude and NKLA, Best Friends Animal Society.
The meeting kicked off with the Ticktockers in an interactive philanthropy activity for one of NCL’s national partners, Alzheimer’s Association, while the Patronesses conducted chapter business. Following that, the meeting featured three round robins of activities that were focused on self-defense skills training, as well as student-led planning meetings.
Santa Monica Police Department Sergeant—and former NCL Ticktocker—Erika Aklufi spoke about communication skills to de-escalate situations and other techniques to ensure safety. Dana Hernandez of Empowered by Dana then led the chapter through a demonstration about the self-defense mindset and physical techniques.
“We have five formal chapter-wide meetings throughout the year, and other events open to all chapter Patronesses, such as our Prospective Member Information Event, which is coming up in November,” Doyle shared. “Additionally we hold an annual Chapter Tea & Fashion Show. Each grade has a specific curriculum of leadership skills training, philanthropy focus and cultural experiences, and they meet eight to 10 times a year to conduct business, build relationships and explore age-appropriate activities.”
Doyle first joined NCL in 2016 when her oldest daughter, who has since graduated with the Class of 2021, was in eighth grade. Her younger daughter joined in 2018 as a seventh-grader.
“The philanthropy component has really made an impact on our lives—making a meal of love at Ronald McDonald House, assembling care packages at Operation Gratitude, restoring habitat at Ballona Wetlands and serving as summer camp ‘counselors’ at Hollygrove,” Doyle shared of the experience. “Additionally, I have made good friends with other mothers whom I otherwise would not meet. Lastly, spending time with my daughters in service to others, watching them mature and become active, engaged young adults—those are experiences I have treasured.”
Riviera resident Colleen Mintzer shared that she and her daughter joined NCL in 2019 when her daughter was about to start her sophomore year of high school.
“This was a little later than the traditional start time for NCL but it did not matter at all because everyone is so welcoming and inclusive in our chapter,” Mintzer shared. “My daughter loves her class of 18 girls, and it has been a wonderful opportunity to get to know girls from all different schools in our community.”
Mintzer and her daughter, who were involved with the Girl Scouts for years, said they missed serving the community, making NCL “the perfect next step.”
“NCL has introduced us to organizations that we didn’t know existed in Los Angeles, and because of the relationships between our NCL chapter and the philanthropy partners, it is very easy to get involved quickly and start making a difference,” Mintzer added. “As my daughter is starting her senior year and final year of NCL, I am cherishing every minute of my time with her, and I am thankful for NCL to allow us to spend quality time together serving others in need.”
Ainslie Sugarman, who resides in The Huntington, joined NCL in 2018 when her oldest daughter was in eighth grade. Her youngest daughter joined in 2019 as a seventh-grader.
“I value making meaningful community contributions with my children,” Sugarman shared. “NCL has a wide network of community partners that I don’t think we would otherwise access to the same degree, and I like having the hands-on philanthropic experiences with my daughters. I also value the leadership positions my daughters are exposed to within their classes—progressively learning to lead meetings, make motions and organize group events.”
NCL, Inc., Westside Chapter will be kicking off its annual membership drive soon, with a goal of enhancing its membership with a diverse group of mothers and daughters who share its commitment to “meaningful, hands-on volunteering, cultural experiences and leadership opportunities,” according to Doyle.
For more information about NCL and the Westside Chapter, visit nationalcharityleague.org/chapter/westside or check out the group’s Instagram @nclwestside.
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